Good morning, all.
1. Housekeeping note: Some commenters are expressing displeasure that I suspended a regular participant here following what I consider to be excessively disrespectful discourse toward me. Well. when they try moderating an ethics blog read by educated, passionate and verbally adept people for nine years, I’ll pay more attention to that displeaure. The task is much like that of a lion-tamer in the circus: as I learned when I read the autobiography of one who survived until retirement, the big cats growling is fine, and even the occasional swipe for show is tolerable, but when they start being disrespectful, you either show who’s boss quick or you get gang-mauled and eaten.
In about two weeks, I have to fly to Boston—on my own dime, of course— to ask a judge to dismiss a $100,000 defamation lawsuit from a banned commenter here. Am I bit inclined to be less than charitable to rude commenter outbursts aimed at me right now? Yes. The matter at issue right now involved flat-out, unambiguous personal mockery and derision, and the Comment Policies, accessible for years on the link above, specifically designate “6) Mockery without substance” as commentary conduct that is not appreciated, , and also notes that a commenter risks be discipline for “…Insulting me, in particular by questioning my integrity, honesty, objectivity, intentions, motives, qualifications, or credentials.”
The commenter who was suspended can return to the wars at any time he chooses, after offering an acceptable apology.
2. Breaking my vow already…to eschew writing about the aftermath of the latest school shooting, I have to mention that Lelly Clarkson’s emotional speech at last night’s Billborad awards was played this morning on CNN and Headline News—and I assume elsewhere—as if she actually was saying something of substance. She wasn’t:
Is the news media going to keep on trying to steer a policy debate with complex social, legal, constitutional, cultural and practical factors into this emotion-flooded, intellectually useless dead end? Apparently so. I’m sure Kelly is sincere, but “moment of action” is nothing but another way of saying “do something,” which itself is just another form of screaming at the sky. What action, Kelly? Unless you make a relevant proposal that addresses the event you are crying about, your statement is worse than useless.
We should not keep pandering to this invitation to turn off our brains regarding guns, yet that is what the news media is actively campaigning for us to do. They are irresponsible to do this.
But we knew that.
3. Ballad of An Ethics Corrupter. Hillary Clinton spoke at the Yale graduation ceremonies. What an awful role model she is. I find her continuing quest to be the worst loser in American history—she has already lapped Richard Nixon, but still trails Aaron Burr–embarrassing and depressing, but even worse are her enablers. Listen to Hillary yesterday—all delivered with a palpable fury evident in her eyes, her voice and her body language:
Let me just get this out of the way: No, I’m not over it. I still think about the 2016 election. I still regret the mistakes I made [Funny: all we’re heard is how Russia, the Electoral College, The DNC, Sexism and misogyny, the fake history that parties don’t win three Presidential elections in a row, Bernie, Wikileaks, her campaign strategists, the debate questions, journalists, campaign financing, President Obama, TV coverage, stupid voters, and weak women yielding to pressure from men lost her the election. Oh, that’s right: she regrets calling Trump supporters “deplorables,” though she still says that’s what they are.] Right now, we’re living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy. Now there are not tanks in the streets, but what’s happening right now goes to the heart of who we are as a nation. I say this not as a Democrat who lost an election but as an American afraid of losing a country. [Is she talking about her party’s efforts, using the press and partisan Justice Department officials, to facilitate a soft coup against the man who defeated her ? Sounds like it, but somehow I don’t think that’s her meaning.]
Clinton brought a Russian fur hat, known as an ushanka, bearing a Soviet-era hammer and sickle emblem. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” she said.
She’s truly despicable. Does it not occur to Clinton that as the first woman to run for President, her acting this way, so long after the election, harms the cause of aspiring women leaders? She might realize that. She just doesn’t care. She’s angry, and she’s going to act out, probably until she drops. Shame on Yale for enabling her.
4. And this is why local governments ban pit bulls...Tracy Garcia was standing outside her Oklahoma home last week when she was attacked and mauled by a pack of dogs, leaving her with injuries so severe that she later died. The doctor at Westwood Veterinary Hospital posted on Facebook Tuesday that to him, the dogs appeared to be pit bulls, and that is how the tragedy was initially reported, as a pit bull attack.
Weeelll, that wasn’t quite right. It turned out that the vicious dogs were dachshunds. You know…these:
You see, as we have discussed ad nauseum here and in other posts, pit bulls frequently get blamed as a reflex whenever there is a dog attack, because most people, even some vets apparently, don’t know dog breeds from rutabagas. If the dog hurts someone, that means it was a pit bull. Reporters follow the same theory. Fake news.